Chicago Blackhawks: Adam Clendening

Clendening didn't want to leave Hawks when traded to Canucks

February, 11, 2015
Feb 11
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Adam Clendening Jeff Vinnick/Getty ImagesAdam Clendening will play his first game in the United Center Wednesday -- but as a Canuck.


CHICAGO -- Some former Chicago Blackhawks prospects welcomed being traded in recent years, because it meant a better NHL opportunity elsewhere.

Adam Clendening wasn’t one of them. He wasn’t dissatisfied with the Blackhawks when they decided to trade him to the Vancouver Canucks last month.

“I wasn’t there yet,” Clendening said on Wednesday before playing the Blackhawks. “I wasn’t expecting it, really, to be honest. I was just trying to work on my game down in Rockford and if I got another call up or if this happened, that was great. But if this ended up happening and it’s been a great opportunity since, I was never hoping or asking for anything to happen from Chicago.”

Clendening got a brief look by the Blackhawks in the NHL this season, but he spent most of his time in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs. It was his third full season in the AHL. With him not fitting into Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman’s long-term plans, Clendening was dealt for 18-year-old prospect Gustav Forsling on Jan. 29.

Clendening and other Blackhawks defenseman prospects’ chances of being called up to the NHL were diminished when Bowman acquired defenseman Tim Erixon for Jeremy Morin in December. Erixon gave the Blackhawks seven NHL defensemen, and they’re also expecting defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk back from a leg injury in the next month.

“We kind of get the business side of it,” Clendening said. “At least, the guys that have been around for a couple of years at least get the business side of the game. They gave up Mo and had to get an asset in return. We kind of get it. We’re not completely oblivious to the business side of the game.”

Clendening has already appeared in as many NHL games with the Canucks as he did with the Blackhawks. Wednesday will mark Clendening’s fifth game with the Canucks, and ironically his first at the United Center. He played four regular-season road games for the Blackhawks.

“The guys are giving me a hard time that I didn’t play a home game here,” Clendening said. “It’s the first game here. Could maybe be an expensive night.

“They’ve given me a good opportunity here and that’s all you can ask for anywhere. But it was nice to come to a team and come up top right away and get some games under your belt.”

Blackhawks trade Clendening to Canucks for Forsling

January, 29, 2015
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The Chicago Blackhawks acquired defenseman Gustav Forsling from the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Adam Clendening on Thursday.

Forsling, 18, has five points in 35 regular-season games with Linkoping of the Swedish Hockey League this season. He was selected by Canucks in the fifth round (126th overall) of the 2014 draft.

"We are excited to add Gustav to a strong group of young talent in our organization," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman in a statement. "He was one of the best players at the World Junior Championships a few weeks ago and this season has emerged as a regular contributor in the top professional league in Sweden. He's an offensive defenseman that plays very well on the power play and has a big shot."

Clendening, 22, was drafted in the second round (36th overall) by the Blackhawks in 2011. He has two points in four career NHL games. He has 118 points in 185 AHL regular-season games for the Rockford IceHogs.

Blackhawks' 20-game season review

November, 23, 2014
11/23/14
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Corey CrawfordJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesCorey Crawford has played some of the best hockey of his career through the first 20 games.


The Chicago Blackhawks are almost a quarter of the way through the season after playing 20 games. Here are 15 things we have learned about them so far:

1. The Blackhawks don’t have an amazing record at 12-7-1, but it’s not bad considering their early scoring troubles and they are still right there among the Central Division leaders. They’re in third place in the Central behind the Nashville Predators (13-5-2, 28 points) and St. Louis Blues (13-6-1, 27 points). The Blackhawks are trending upward. They’re on their first three-game winning streak of the season and have won five of their last six games. One area they have already corrected from last season is their overtime/shootout record. They were 3-8 last year and are 4-1 this season.

2. The Blackhawks can still fill the net. They went through an unlucky stretch early in the season, when they were leading the league in shots but didn’t have the results to show for it. That’s changed in the last few weeks. Their shooting percentage is getting back to normal. They have scored 32 goals over the last eight games. They still lead the league in shots (36.7 per game) and their scoring average is up to 2.95, which is tied for seventh. Their shooting percentage is still a few percentage points below their average the last few years, so expect the goals average to increase some more over time. The Blackhawks were third in shots-per game (33.1) and second in goals-per-game (3.18) last season.

3. Corey Crawford is playing at an elite level. He has a 1.90 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in 14 games. He ranks fifth in the league in save percentage. His start to the season is comparable to what he did in the shortened 2012-13 season, when he was consistent throughout the season and finished ranked sixth in the league in save percentage. It’s the only time he’s finished in the top 10 in save percentage. He has held opponents to two goals or less in 10 of his 14 games this season. He’s especially improved against the power play. He had a .864 power-play save percentage last season and it’s currently at .905.

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Hawks thoughts: Could Morin be better off somewhere else?

November, 21, 2014
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Here are some thoughts and observations about the Chicago Blackhawks after their 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday:

1. The Blackhawks might want to think about just trading Jeremy Morin. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville obviously isn’t fond of his game, and Morin deserves a chance somewhere. He’s 23 and has been in professional hockey since the 2010-11 season. He's put in his time with the organization. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman basically gave Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Hayes opportunities elsewhere by trading them when it was evident they weren’t going to be utilized much. He could do the same for Morin. Morin's ice time was limited again Thursday. Quenneville played him nine shifts and 6:50. He has averaged 7:48 in 14 games and has been scratched four times this season. He doesn't have any production to show for it this year, but he has shown plenty of offensive ability in the past. He also continues to be among the league's leaders in Corsi. It may not click for him in Chicago, but it may still click elsewhere. He is represented by Pat Brisson, who is also the agent for Kane, Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw and Marcus Kruger, so it’s likely Bowman would listen if a trade was what was asked of him. Brisson and Morin likely thought Morin would get more of an NHL opportunity this season when he signed a two-year deal in June.

2. Someone familiar with Patrick Kane’s game described it as a mess just a few weeks ago. I was told Kane was making decisions too quickly and not forcing defenders into difficult situations. You could see him begin making some adjustments recently against the Tampa Bay Lightning and starting to dictate the play and controlling the puck more. He wasn’t rewarded that game, but it was only a matter of time. With a goal and assist Thursday, he’s scored in three consecutive games and has six points over the last three games. He has also recorded consecutive multi-point games for the first time this season. Usually when Kane gets going, he stays going for a bit.

3. Kane’s success the last two games has something to do with Kris Versteeg and Brad Richards being on his line. Quenneville was reluctant to combine Kane and Richards even though that appeared to be the plan when Richards was signed. Anyway, they’re together now, and they’re flourishing. That line was a plus-3 against the Dallas Stars on Sunday and should have been a plus-2 on Thursday. The Blackhawks’ top line had a horrendous line change which created a Flames’ odd-man rush and goal in the second period, and it ended up being on the second line’s tab. Even with that, the line has been a plus-4 and has helped create five goals in the last two games.

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Van Riemsdyk's injury impacts Hawks' defensive depth

November, 19, 2014
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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks' greatest concern entering the season was their defenseman depth.

The Blackhawks lost a dependable defenseman when they traded Nick Leddy in order to get under the salary cap before the season. It left them with two unproven young defensemen in Trevor van Riemsdyk and David Rundblad and an aging veteran in Michal Rozsival.

Van Riemsdyk exceeded the organization’s expectations to start the season and his play as of late made it easier for the Blackhawks to move on from losing Leddy. With van Riemsdyk’s success, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was able to rotate between Rundblad and Rozsival as his sixth defenseman and create stability throughout the pairings.

Now, with van Riemsdyk out for 3-4 months with a fractured patella, the Blackhawks have some question marks again on the defensive end. Rozsival and Rundblad haven’t appeared in the same game this season, and Adam Clendening, who was recalled on Tuesday, has never played an NHL game.

Quenneville didn’t sound concerned about it Wednesday.

“Whoever plays we want them to be consistent, get involved in the attack, defend,” Quenneville said. “A game like last game, Rozsival ended up [on the ice more] with five [defensemen], gets to be used a little bit more. In those situations, make sure whoever your partner is play the right way that we play as a team and contribute as best you can defensively and offensively.

“We’ll let it work itself out. Their play will dictate how much and how it evolves.”

Quenneville also doesn’t want to lean more on defensemen Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson than he already has.

“I hope not,” Quenneville said. “It’s not the plan. Kind of like we want to make sure those guys get ice time. There’s going to be getting some important shifts as well when you go on the road and you don’t have the matchup going into faceoffs.”

Rozsival, 36, is likely to carry a larger work load as he did last game when van Riemsdyk was injured. Rozsival played a season-high 19:55 against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. He’s averaged 16:42 in nine games this season.

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Clendening earns NHL chance with Blackhawks

November, 18, 2014
11/18/14
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How defenseman Adam Clendening will fare in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks will be seen in the coming weeks, but Clendening has earned that opportunity.

Clendening, 22, is expected to make his NHL debut during the Blackhawks’ upcoming six-game road trip after he was recalled Tuesday. He was recalled by the Blackhawks before, but never in a situation where he might actually take the ice for the Blackhawks.

This time is different. This time he had a larger body of work behind him. The Blackhawks had a number of options among their defenseman prospects to replace Trevor van Riemsdyk, who suffered an injury on Sunday, and they decided on Clendening.

“It’s his third year pro,” said Rockford IceHogs coach Ted Dent, who has coached Clendening in the AHL the last three seasons. “He’s done well. I think it’s a good challenge right now for him. Get up there and see how you do. He’s been waiting for it. He’s wanted it. He’s deserved it over the course of the last 2 years. Let’s see what he can go up there and do.

“Players who have traditional been in Rockford and haven’t got a call-up and got an NHL game yet, they get a little anxious. They want to make the NHL. I think for him it’s a dream come true.”

Clendening’s offensive game has been NHL ready for some time. He’s been among the IceHogs’ points leaders the past two season. He had nine goals and 37 assists in his first professional season and led the IceHogs with 59 points, which included 12 goals and 47 assists, last season.

Defensively is where the Blackhawks have asked Clendening to get better. It’s something Dent has worked with him on the past few years.

“[We’ve focused on] just awareness defensively and commitment to be a good defender,” Dent said. “Take care of his end and be positionally sound when he doesn’t have the puck more than anything. I think he has always had the ability, just never been held accountable for it. Through video and putting an emphasis on it, it’s improved.”

Dent had a simple message for Clendening before he departed Rockford on Tuesday.

“Obviously in Chicago, he’s going to have to earn [Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s] trust like every player that goes up,” Dent said. “Hopefully, he can do that. Keep it simple and let the puck do the work. He has a great mind for the game and let his instincts takes over and get the pucks to the forwards. That was my advice to him when I said goodbye.”

Blackhawks recall Nordstrom, Clendening

November, 18, 2014
11/18/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks recalled forward Joakim Nordstrom and defenseman Adam Clendening from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL on Tuesday.

Nordstrom, 22, was reassigned to the IceHogs on Monday to maximize their cap space before placing defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk on long-term injured reserve. Nordstrom was recalled Saturday and played 12:15 of ice time against the Dallas Stars on Sunday. He has five goals and three assists in 14 games for the IceHogs this season. He has one goal and two assists in 17 career NHL games.

Clendening, 22, has one goal, three assists and is a minus-2 in 16 games for the IceHogs this season. He led the IceHogs in points last season. He has been recalled before, but has yet to appear in an NHL regular-season game. The Blackhawks selected him in the second round of the 2011 draft.

The Blackhawks have 13 healthy forwards and seven defensemen on their roster.

Hawks banking on others replacing Leddy

October, 4, 2014
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The good news for the Chicago Blackhawks today is they’re finally under the salary cap. It's something they've been waiting awhile for.

The bad news is they’re now without one of their top defensemen.

Whether the Blackhawks made the right move in trading defenseman Nick Leddy to the New York Islanders for prospects on Saturday will ultimately be determined by how this season unfolds.

If the Blackhawks are successful and make another run at a Stanley Cup, the trade will be forgotten. If the Blackhawks fail in that quest and their defensemen are a reason for that, the Leddy trade and other moves by Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman will go into question.

The Blackhawks had to trade someone before the season began because they exceeded the salary cap when they signed center Brad Richards to a one-year, $2 million contract in July.

Basically, the Blackhawks swapped Leddy for Richards in the end. But there were other moves that led to the Blackhawks going over the cap and Leddy being the player dealt.

The first move was Bowman signing defenseman Michal Rozsival to a two-year contract extension after the 2013 season. Rozsival has a $2.2 million cap hit. He played a key role on their 2013 Stanley Cup championship team, but he hasn’t been able to maintain that consistency. He was a healthy scratch in the playoffs last season and looked a few steps slow during the Blackhawks’ preseason game Wednesday. He also had a modified no-trade clause, according to capgeek.com.

The second move was Bowman trading for defenseman David Rundblad last season. Rundblad was a player Bowman had wanted for some time, and he jumped at the opportunity to trade a second-round pick for him and another prospect. Rundlbad’s cap hit is only $785,000, but his acquisition meant Bowman was planning on Rundblad being another top-six defenseman. Leddy became more expendable when Rundlbad was added.

Leddy wasn’t the perfect defenseman. That was seen when Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville drastically cut his minutes and made him a healthy scratch in the playoffs the last two seasons. But he was a reliable defenseman. He carried the puck as well as any of the Blackhawks defensemen, contributed on the power play and anchored that third defensive pairing while often having to deal with a rotating partner.

The Blackhawks now enter the season with some uncertainties about their third pairing. Rozsival will be a part of it, but he will still need days off. His age, 36, has caught up with him. He’s played in 69 regular-season games over the last two seasons.

Rundblad will also be in the mix. He has some offensive upside, but he’s yet to prove himself consistently in the NHL. He hasn’t played in more than 17 NHL games in a given season. Quenneville has to learn to trust him.

Kyle Cumiskey also looks like he’s going to get a chance on the NHL roster. Cumiskey showed a lot of offensive ability in the preseason. He can skate, gets up in plays, can handle the puck and will shoot it. He has NHL experience, having played in 132 games for the Colorado Avalanche, but he’s been in Sweden the last two years. He has a chance to fill Leddy’s shoes, but the proof will be in his play.

Trevor van Riemsdyk may also start the season in the NHL. He’s been the surprise of the camp after signing as a college free agent in March. He’s displayed an ability to make smart decisions and be defensively reliable. The question is whether he can take on the NHL this early in his career.

The Blackhawks also have a number of defenseman prospects, including Adam Clendening, Klas Dahlbeck and Stephen Johns, on the verge of the NHL. All are close to being NHL players, but may need another season in the AHL to be truly ready.

With all of their options, the Blackhawks may have enough in their pantry to get by without Leddy in their lineup. The upcoming season will reveal whether that’s fact or fiction.

Blackhawks assign six more to Rockford

September, 29, 2014
9/29/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks assigned forwards Joakim Nordstrom, Dennis Rasmussen and Garret Ross, defensemen Adam Clendening and Klas Dahlbeck and goaltender Scott Darling to the AHL's Rockford IceHogs on Monday.

"They’re always tough," Quenneville said of meeting with players who are being assigned to the AHL. "The players, they really listen to you and you know it’s never a good situation. But certain guys receive it differently and have different views when they leave. But we try to be as direct as we can.

"A lot of the situations we’ve felt guys we’ve talked to in camp were positive messages, knowing we liked the way they played in camp. We’ve seen progress in their games and see them progressing where they could get called up in the right situation. So, a lot of guys enhanced their positions from last year to this year, and from the organization standpoint, that’s encouraging. But the players are very attentive and you understand their emotions and how it can really upset you."

The Blackhawks' active roster now includes 30 players, including 18 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

The Blackhawks must still get under the salary cap before the regular season begins. They need to reduce by about $1.3-2.2 million to be cap compliant.

The Blackhawks have two preseason games remaining.

Remaining players' chances with Hawks

September, 27, 2014
9/27/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks cut their NHL roster to 36 players after their preseason game Friday. The Blackhawks still have to get under the salary cap. Assuming they clear enough room to add a couple more players, here’s a look at who is remaining on the their roster outside of the players who have already locked up spots and their chances of making the team:

FORWARDS

Teuvo Teravainen: The slight knock Teravainen took from Cam Barker on the final day of training camp at Notre Dame was a setback to his chances of making the NHL roster out of the preseason. Teravainen sat out the first three preseason games due to the injury and will play in his first game Sunday. He could still make an impact, but he would have had a better shot if he could have impressed in practices and games over the last week. As one source recently said, “He can play in the NHL now. He’s always elevated his game when playing with better players.” But based on the roster, Teravainen is probably going to start the season with the Rockford IceHogs. If he doesn’t have a permanent spot with the Blackhawks, he’s better off playing in every game in the AHL.

Brandon Mashinter: Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville wants a physical presence to replace Brandon Bollig in the lineup. Mashinter is one of three players competing for that spot. Mashinter is the one mentioned most among the three as of now. He’s played in one preseason game so far and had 13 shifts, 7:37 of ice time, three hits and one shot on goal. Mashinter would have go to through waivers if assigned to Rockford.

Cody Bass: Bass is in the same boat as Mashinter. Bass has played in two preseason games. He’s averaged 13.5 shifts and 8:27 of ice time. He is a plus-1, has four hits and three penalties, which included two fights. He has to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.

Pierre-Cedric Labrie: Labrie is in competition with Bass and Mashinter. Labrie has played two games and averaged 15 shift and 11:13 of ice time. He has three shots on goal, five hits and two penalties, including one for fighting. He also requires to go through waivers if assigned to the AHL.

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Hawks storylines (No. 14): Prospect watch

September, 11, 2014
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ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers counts down the days to the opening of Blackhawks training camp on Sept. 19 with a look at 20 storylines facing the team this season.

The Chicago Blackhawks will turn to some more prospects this season. Here's a look at some of those players who could be factors:

Jeremy Morin, forward


Morin, 23, doesn't exactly feel like a prospect any longer, but the reality is he's only played in 39 career NHL regular season games over the past three seasons. He's expected to finally get a full-time look this season. Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and coach Joel Quenneville has said Morin will be given a larger role this season. Where Morin fits in with the Blackhawks' lineup may be more apparent after Bowman makes a trade or two to get under the salary cap. Morin has a high offensive upside and showed some of that last season with five goals and six assists in 24 games with the Blackhawks.

Teuvo Teravainen, forward

[+] EnlargeTeuvo Teravainen
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesTop prospect Teuvo Teravainen got a taste of the NHL last season, playing three games for the Blackhawks.
Teravainen, 20, is considered the Blackhawks' top prospect. He got a taste of the AHL and NHL last season after finishing his season in Finland. He didn't have much left in the tank by the end of the season following a full year of traveling for his European club team, international competitions for Finland and for the Blackhawks in the preseason and the end of the regular season. He's spent most of the summer in Chicago training and bulking up. Quenneville raved about Teravainen's final performance at prospect camp in July. Teravainen will be a slight longshot to make the NHL roster out of training camp based on the current roster, but he has the ability, especially with his passing and vision, to make it a difficult decision for the Blackhawks.

Stephen Johns, defenseman


Johns, 22, is one of a number of defenseman prospects who could be on the verge of the NHL. Johns spent four years at Notre Dame and held more than his own in his short time with the Rockford IceHogs last season. He is a big body and could soon be the most physical player the Blackhawks have in their organization. He has a chance to push for an NHL spot at training camp depending on what is done with the roster.

Adam Clendening, defenseman


Clendening, 21, has the offensive game to be in the NHL right now. He was among the AHL's top defensemen with 12 goals and 47 assists in 74 games last season. His defensive game is making strides. The Blackhawks don't want to rush him until they're confident in his overall game. He should get some time in the NHL this season.

Klas Dahlbeck, defenseman


Dahlbeck, 23, impressed the Blackhawks with his improved offensive game last season. He's still a stay-at-home defenseman, but he's made himself into more of an overall player. He practiced with the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs last season. Like Johns and Clendening, Dahlbeck could find himself in the NHL this season.

Joakim Nordstrom, forward


Nordstrom, 22, was the prospect who surprised everyone last season by making the NHL roster out of training camp. He was back and forth throughout the season, but ended up playing in 23 total NHL games, including seven playoff games. The Blackhawks like his defensive game at the NHL level. He also proved to be a consistent offensive player at the AHL level. He could fill a fourth-line role again this season.

Brandon Mashinter, forward


Mashinter, 25, could find his way onto the Blackhawks roster being the enforcer type Quenneville often likes to have on his team. Mashinter came to the Blackhawks in a trade with the New York Rangers last season. He had 14 goals, 14 assists and was a minus-8 in 47 games with the IceHogs. Pierre-Cedric Labrie, 28, and Cody Bass, 27, were signed in the offseason and could also fit that role.

Mark McNeill, forward


McNeill, 21, would be among the next group of forwards ready to make that jump to the NHL. He went through some inconsistencies during his first full professional season, but a number of Blackhawks personnel liked how he responded late in the season. He's a strong player and has adjusted well after moving to the wing from center. If the Blackhawks are in need of a physical forward, he could fill that void at some point this season.

Alex Broadhurst, forward


Broadhurst, 21, may still be a year or two away, but he showed a lot of potential last season and was even recalled by the Blackhawks for a day. He finished third in points behind Morin and Clendening on the IceHogs with 16 goals and 29 assists.

Others to watch:

Kyle Cumiskey, defenseman; Dennis Rasmussen, forward; Garret Ross, forward: Phillip Danault, forward; Ryan Hartman, forward, Trevor van Riemsdyk, defenseman; Scott Darling, goaltender.

Rasmussen returns to pursue NHL goal

July, 15, 2014
7/15/14
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CHICAGO -- Dennis Rasmussen first remembers wanting to play in the NHL when he traveled from Sweden to attend a Chicago Blackhawks home game as a 7-year-old in 1997.

It was his first trip to the United States, and his father got them tickets right next to the glass. Rasmussen even took home a souvenir puck which traveled into the stands. He still has that puck.

“Ever since I watched that game, I always wanted to be an NHL player,” the 24-year-old Rasmussen said Monday.

Rasmussen is closer now than ever to that goal, and it coincidentally could happen with the Blackhawks. He signed a one-year contract with the Blackhawks in June after playing his entire career in Sweden. He returned to Chicago for the first time since he was seven to participate in the Blackhawks' prospect camp this week.

Rasmussen talked with other NHL teams after he decided to pursue an NHL career after his past season in Sweden. He opted for the Blackhawks because of their playing style and their winning tradition.

Rasmussen does understand the obstacle of playing in the NHL for the Blackhawks. They already have depth at center, his primary position, and on their wings. Still, he’s out to play in the NHL.

“My biggest goal here from the start is take a spot on the team,” he said. “That’s going to be my goal the whole summer when I work out and when I’m here. When I come in the beginning of September, that’s going to be my same goal there. I can’t have another goal. I wanted to come here to play in the NHL.

“I really like the challenge. It’s a great team. Of course, if you’re close to getting the Stanley Cup, it’s a great team. It’s tough to get into the team, but I think I have a chance. I’m going to go for it. That’s my goal.”

Rasmussen has size at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds and displayed an overall two-way game in Sweden. He had 16 goals, 24 assists and was a plus-6 in 52 regular-season games for the Vaxjo Lakers of the Swedish Hockey League. He also played for Sweden in the 2014 World Championship.

“[He’s] a big forward with solid speed and defensive value,” ESPN NHL Draft and Prospects analyst Corey Pronman said of Rasmussen. “Put up points this year in the SHL, but likely more a bottom-6 forward in the NHL in a non-power-play role. Played on this year's World Championship squad for Sweden in a lower role.”

Rasmussen described his own game as being “strong with the puck, pretty big body, skate-out situations and get the puck, deliver the pass, give and go, try to create some chances.”

Rasmussen hoped to use the week at the prospect camp to display that game.

“I just want to get on the ice and show everyone I can play,” he said. “I really want to show myself and the other guys and everyone here that the type of player I am. And for myself, I want to be here and see what it feels like what is in the town, the guys, everyone. It’s really fun to be here.”

10 to watch at Blackhawks prospect camp

July, 11, 2014
7/11/14
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The Chicago Blackhawks open their annual prospect camp at Johnny's IceHouse West on Sunday. Here are 10 prospects to keep an eye on throughout the week:

Alex Broadhurst, forward, 2011 seventh-round pick: Broadhurst was a bit of surprise this past season. He had a better offensive season than any of the organization's other first-year professionals. He finished third on the AHL's Rockford IceHogs with 45 points, which included 16 goals and 29 assists. Only Adam Clendening and Jeremy Morin had more points. The Blackhawks certainly found value with this seventh-round selection.

Adam Clendening, defenseman, 2011 second-round pick: Clendening is on the verge of the NHL. He's the most offensive defenseman the Blackhawks have amongst their prospects. He led the IceHogs in points last season, and he also took a step forward with his defense. He is still 21 years old.

[+] EnlargeStephen Johns
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesAfter four years at Notre Dame, Stephen Johns signed with the Hawks in April.
Ryan Hartman, forward, 2013 first-round pick: Hartman enters his second year in the organization. He had a solid first season and ended it with the IceHogs. The Blackhawks like how hard and tough he plays. He's been compared to Andrew Shaw.

Vincent Hinostroza, forward, 2012 sixth-round pick: Hinostroza had one of the strongest freshman seasons among the Blackhawks prospects. He was third on Notre Dame with 32 points. He had eight goals and 24 assists. He's a playmaker.

Stephen Johns, defenseman, 2010 second-round pick: Johns finally signed with the Blackhawks in April after spending four years at Notre Dame. He should be the worth wait. He's a physical player and has a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. He could be NHL ready this season.

Mark McNeill, forward, 2011 first-round pick: McNeill is among a few forward prospects who could make the jump to the NHL next season. He's transitioned well into playing a wing and impressed people within the organization with his commitment to winning late last season with the IceHogs. He'll look to continue to catch the right eyes with his play during the camp.

Dennis Rasmussen, forward, free-agent signing: The Blackhawks signed the 24-year-old Rasmussen to a one-year deal in June. He played last season in Sweden and tallied 40 points, including 16 goals and 24 assists, in 52 games. He's expected to give the Blackhawks additional organizational depth at center.

Nick Schmaltz, forward, 2014 first-round pick: Schmaltz is the Blackhawks' latest first-round pick. They moved up in the draft to get him. His hands and offensive game have been touted, but his work ethic has been questioned. This will be his first chance to impress people. He's headed to North Dakota to be a freshman this year.

Teuvo Teravainen, forward, 2012 first-round pick: Teravainen is the organization's top prospect and likely the second-line center of the future. His full-time NHL arrival probably got delayed by the signing of Brad Richards, but Teravainen will see time with the Blackhawks this season. He's offensively gifted and should put on a show for fans throughout the camp.

Trevor van Riemsdyk, defenseman, free-agent signing: Van Riemsdyk was expected to be one of the top college free agents after the season, but teams backed off after he suffered a serious ankle injury. If he can return to form, the Blackhawks may have gotten a steal in signing him. He's the younger brother of James van Riemsdyk, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Other notables: Matt Carey (forward), Chris Calnan (forward), Phillip Danault (forward), Carl Dahlstrom (defenseman), Dillon Fournier (defenseman), John Hayden (forward), Garret Ross (forward), Kent Simpson (goaltender).

Blackhawks draft review: 2011 class

June, 24, 2014
6/24/14
1:31
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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Brandon Saad Paul Bereswill/Getty ImagesBrandon Saad, a second-round draft pick in 2011, has emerged as a key player for the Blackhawks.
Stan Bowman will enter his fifth draft as the Chicago Blackhawks general manager later this week. Leading up to the 2014 NHL draft on Friday, we'll take a look at each of Bowman's first four draft classes, analyze how he's done so far in his tenure and glance ahead to where he may look to improve the Blackhawks in this year's draft.

The series continues Tuesday with the Blackhawks' 2011 draft:

Mark McNeill, forward, first round, No. 18 overall: McNeill had a solid first full professional season this past year. The Blackhawks like his potential as a powerful winger. He could get his first taste of the NHL next season.

Phillip Danault, forward: first round, No. 26 overall: Danault had some ups and downs in his first full professional season. It may take some time, but he could replace someone like Marcus Kruger as a defensive-minded forward down the line.

Adam Clendening, defenseman, second round, No. 36 overall: Clendening is getting closer to the NHL. His offensive game is ready and he's been working on the defensive side. He should make his NHL debut next season.

Brandon Saad, forward, second round, No. 43 overall: Saad headlines this draft class for the Blackhawks. He already has two NHL seasons under his belt and could be a big-time player if he continues to progress as he has. He and Patrick Kane could have a long future together on the same line.

Michael Paliotta, defenseman, third round, No. 70 overall: Paliotta finished up his junior season at Vermont this year. He had five goals and 22 assists in 38 games as a junior. The Blackhawks were pleased with his season.

Klas Dahlbeck, defenseman, third round, No. 79 overall: Dahlbeck has come along nicely for the Blackhawks. He improved his offensive game this past season. He didn't appear in any game, but he practiced with the Blackhawks throughout the playoffs. He could also be on the verge of the NHL.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Shaw
Cal Sport Media/AP ImagesThe Blackhawks have already committed to 2011 fifth-round pick Andrew Shaw, signing him to an extension this season.
Maxim Shalunov, forward, fourth round, No. 109 overall: Shalunov has shown glimpses of his potential, but he hasn't been able to put it together yet. He was signed to an AHL contract this past season and spent most of the year in the ECHL.

Andrew Shaw, forward, fifth round, No. 139 overall: The Blackhawks hit the jackpot with Shaw in the fifth round. He's given them a consistent third-line center the past two seasons. They signed him to an extension this past season.

Sam Jardine, defenseman, sixth round, No. 169 overall: Jardine completed his sophomore season at Ohio State this year. He had one goal, 12 assists, 35 blocks and a plus-7 rating in 36 games. His season was described as "solid" by Blackhawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver.

Alex Broadhurst, forward, seventh round, No. 199 overall: Broadhurst made a smooth transition to the AHL from juniors this past season. He had 16 goals and 29 assists in 75 games for the Rockford IceHogs. He was even called up to the NHL for one day.

Johan Mattsson, goaltender, seventh round, No. 211 overall: The Blackhawks did not sign Mattsson. He played last season in Sweden.

Draft outlook: This is a class Bowman can really hang his hat on. It has the potential to be one of the Blackhawks' deepest draft classes. Saad and Shaw have already found spots in the NHL. Clendening, Dahlbeck and McNeill should see NHL time next season. If Broadhurst and Danault continue to develop, there is a potential for at least seven NHL players in this class.

Clendening getting closer to Blackhawks

June, 21, 2014
6/21/14
11:45
AM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
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The Chicago Blackhawks like where defenseman prospect Adam Clendening is heading with his game.

Clendening hasn’t broke through to the NHL just yet, but he’s getting closer, and his 2013-14 season was another step in that direction. He continued to be one of most productive defenseman prospects and made strides in improving his defensive game while with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL.

Adam Clendening
AP Photo/Nick WassAdam Clendening finished second among defensemen with 47 assists and 59 points last season in the AHL.
The Blackhawks haven’t rushed Clendening partly because he’s 21, his defensive game has needed work and they’re already stacked with defensemen at the NHL level. He is getting closer, though.

“Right now, he’s on that cusp,” Blackhawks director of hockey administration/general manager of minor league affiliations Mark Bernard said in a recent phone interview. “I think that’s our biggest battle. We have a lot of good young prospects, trying to hold them at bay. Everyone wants to be in the National Hockey League yesterday. You can never spend too much time in the American League basically doing apprenticeship on your craft.

“Adam is still only 21 years old. He’s going to be 22 in October. He came into the league and has had two very strong years. He had 59 points this year and 46 points last year. He’s making all kind of American League honors. He’s come a long way.”

Clendening already possesses the offensive ability to be in the NHL. The Blackhawks knew he had high-end talent when they drafted him in the second round in 2011. He's continued to prove that in his first two seasons in the AHL. He finished second among defensemen with 47 assists and second with 59 points last season.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
64 27 37 10
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 21
GAAC. Crawford 2.30